April 06, 2018

Chicago Tonight’s Vinicky to present Marmaduke lecture

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Amanda Vinicky, a correspondent and segment host with WTTW-TV’s Chicago Tonight, will present the Virginia Marmaduke Scholarship Lecture next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Vinicky will discuss “Contemporary Journalism” at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 12, in Lawson Hall, Room 101. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

“Amanda understands the necessity for journalists to have a multimedia skill set and she’s a great example of a young journalist who has already built a significant reputation in the field,” Deborah Tudor, interim dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, said. “She’s a great role model for our students.” 

Has covered Illinois state politics for more than a decade 

Vinicky’s primary focus is on Illinois government and politics. Prior to joining Chicago Tonight in 2017, she covered Illinois government and state politics for a decade as statehouse bureau chief for NPR and the Illinois Public Radio network.

The Springfield Business Journal recognized her as one of its “40 under 40” outstanding young professionals in Springfield in 2016. 

Actively uses social media to augment her reporting 

H.D. Motyl, interim chair of the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media, said Greg Petrowich, WSIU executive director, watched Vinicky at work in Springfield earlier this year and was impressed with her simultaneous use of numerous media platforms. 

“Besides typing notes, she was tweeting, hitting up Facebook and still staying on top of the address,” Motyl said. “I thought she would be a great person for our students to meet and learn more on how she works. 

“She’s young, a very active journalist in the state, and she’s hip to social media and how to use it,” Motyl said. 

Vinicky earned a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield and bachelor degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Will meet with Marmaduke scholars while on campus 

Vinicky will also have lunch with present and future Marmaduke scholars while she is at SIU. The scholars include: 

  • Dakota Holden, sophomore, radio, television and digital media
  • Abbey La Tour, senior, journalism
  • Kerkyra Sacketos, senior, radio, television, and digital media
  • Jordan Taylor, senior, radio, television, and digital media
  • Michael Thornton, sophomore, radio, television, and digital media
  • Isaac White, senior, radio, television, and digital media 

Lecture and scholarship honors journalism icon 

The lecture honors the late Virginia “The Duchess” Marmaduke, a Southern Illinois native and groundbreaking Chicago journalist. A native of Carbondale who spent much of her later life in Pinckneyville, Marmaduke died in November 2001 at age 93. 

The Marmaduke lecture series is the result of a $1.22 million gift from Marmaduke’s estate — the largest gift in SIUC’s College of Mass Communication and Media Arts history. The gift funds the Virginia Marmaduke Mass Communication and Media Arts Endowed Scholarship, along with a lectureship and media center activities research also named in her honor.